Interest in streaming and podcasting takes a slide + all the biggest industry headlines
11.05.2022

Interest in streaming and podcasting takes a slide + all the biggest industry headlines

(Image: Kati at xilophotography.com)
Words by Christie Eliezer

South Korea lifts ban on clapping, Triple M spruiks Powderfinger reunion, and more!

Been out of the loop with everything that’s been going on in the music industry recently? We don’t blame you. Here’s a wrap-up of all the biggest Aussie music industry news stories from the past fortnight.

The top headlines:

  • Interest in streaming and podcasting takes a slide.
  • Triple M spruiks Powderfinger reunion.
  • South Korea lifts ban on clapping.

Keep up to date with the latest industry news here.

Has interest in music streaming and podcasts started to slide?

With the end of pandemic restrictions, have music streaming and podcasts started to slide?

The music streaming phenomenon was forecast to start plateauing by 2020. Of course that extended during the pandemic lockdown.

In January 2022, Netflix had 221.84 million subscribers. By March 31, it fell by 200 thousand subscribers. It expected to shed another two million in Q2.

Netflix blamed “sluggish economic growth, increasing inflation, geopolitical events, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and some continued disruption from COVID”.

This led to the inevitable question: will there be a similar turn-off in music streaming?

That was answered soon enough, with Spotify figures showing its growth was slowing.

In Q1 2022, it added just add 1.5 million new subscribers. Comparatively, it signed up seven million in Q3 2021 and eight million in Q4.

The next few months will make it clear if the music streaming market leader Spotify continues its decline and, indeed if this also spreads to other music services.

Netflix has been raising its prices in Australia, from November 11, 2021, with the standard plan rising to $16.99 and premium to $22.99.

But streaming services have kept their prices at ‘steady as she goes’.

The world of podcasts is also giving off bad vibes as things get back to normal.

The Radioinfo site cited a Listen Notes report that the number of new podcasts is dramatically getting smaller

Only 8,453 were released in April compared to over 16 thousand in March, over 17 thousand in February, and 20,454 in January.

New podcasts numbered 712,414 in 2021, down from 1,017,349 in 2020.

Listen Notes estimates there are globally at least 2,836,347 podcasts and 132,691,458 episodes.

Women in Music conference to stream

The third Australian Women in Music Awards’ conference on Tuesday May 17 will be livestreamed on Facebook page after it sold out. It is also broadcast on ABC-TV.

It includes the screening of Liza Moscatelli film It’s Our Duty! Reflections of Women & Hip Hop, and forums about Women & Hip Hop, Workplace Safety and Sexual Harassment, Youth and Mental Health, with the keynote ‘in conversation’ with Tina Arena talking with Yumi Stynes.

Fender giveaways for Women Awards

As part of the Women in Music Awards, Fender is offering two prize packages. It sponsors the 2022 Emerging Artist category.

You follow the social channel @womeninmusicaus and tag a friend to go into the giveaway draw. It is drawn online on May 18.

The prize for national entries is worth at over $2,700 and includes a Paramount Series guitar, an Acoustic 100 amp, Acoustic Preverb pedal, guitar strap cable, and deluxe hard case.

A second giveaway, with a Fender electric prize pack worth over $4,700, is for Queensland locals.

Heritage protection for Freo Studio

Fremantle Council voted to add the former Martin Clarke Recording Studios in North Fremantle to the local heritage list.

It was WA’s first purpose-built studio, set up in 1967 by Clarion Records’ 21-year old co-owner Martin Clarke and used by Johnny Young, Robbie Snowden, The Birds, The Times, The Troupadores, and The Valentines.

The Thompson Road studio was also notable because the building was designed by famous Perth architect Iwan Iwanoff.

Clarke equipped it with top gear at the time – an Ampex four-track recorder with a two-inch tape, and a Neumann lathe imported from Germany to cut vinyl records straight off the tape.

Strange Brews

  • South Korea has allowed fans to clap and cheer at gigs. Due to the pandemic they were handed plastic clappers to emulate crowd noise.
  • Gold Coast police are hunting two Einsteins who head-butted a musician at a Nobby Beach bar because he wouldn’t perform a song they requested – ‘Wonderwall’ by Oasis.

First winners of Managers Awards

The Association of Artist Managers held its first Manager Awards in Melbourne on May 3. The winners were:

Manager of the Year: Simone Ubaldi and Andrew Parisi of Sundowner, for their global achievements with Amyl and The Sniffers and Grace Cummings.

Breakthrough Manager: Ellen Kirk of Look Out Kid, for steering Pakistan-based Arooj Aftab to a Grammy and a deal with Verve/Universal, and for Beverly Glenn-Copeland (Canada) – a remix album of Keyboard Fantasies and an exhibition in New York.

Community Engagement: Cath Haridy who worked as A&R at Festival and Warner before setting up Catherine Haridy Management.

Legacy Award: Correne Wilkie, best known for her global work with The Cat Empire and, according to the AAM, “known for her attention to detail, strategic thinking and business acumen (as well as being universally liked and admired)”.

The AAM takes its Music Passport export development trip to New York (June 12-19) and Los Angeles (June 19 – 25) with two early-mid career managers and guided by senior manager Jess Keeley, to create contacts and ideas before entering the North American market.

Hunt for illegal ravers

Gold Coast blueys have signalled a crackdown on promoters of illegal raves being held regularly at the Pizzey Park pine forest at Miami.

They admit they’re hard to track down as they’re well organised and the DJs have an uncanny way of quickly disappearing with their gear.

A petition by residents warn that generators used by the parties which are run on petrol or diesel are dangerous for a pine forest.

Not sure what sort of music is being played. One resident complained of hearing a brass band…

Triple M spruiks Powderfinger reunion

Triple M Adelaide got a tip that after the Foo Fighters pulled out, the new SA government was trying to get Powderfinger to reunite to headline the Adelaide 500 race concert in December.

The station hauled in premier Peter Malinauskas for a comment. Being a footballer, he saw-toothed the issue.

He didn’t deny the rumour but said, “When we get a few contracts signed I’ll be on Triple M straight away.”

Malinauskas also spoke about the government’s new $1.25 million grants for bands and venues.

Over the next six months, a total of five thousand $400 small vouchers will be handed over. A venue can pay a band with these, or a band can hand over a voucher and play.

There’s $500,000 worth of medium size grants and $20,000 for larger events.

Battle to save music venues

The Newcastle Live Music Taskforce met with government to launch a petition to stop the Cambridge Hotel from being closed in June 2023 to be turned into a 19-storey tower for student accommodation costing $110 million.

If French-owned company Linkcity doesn’t appreciate the venue’s importance, next step is the Joint Regional Planning Panel.

Meantime, in the latest saga of the Curtin Hotel in Carlton, unions have slapped a ban on workers on its redevelopment.

This green ban saved the City Baths, the Regent Theatre, Flinders Street Station, and Queen Victoria Market from development.

More venue updates

Gold Coast Hard Rock Café closed its doors after 25 years at Paradise Centre after a stoush with the landlord and looking for a new home.

Australian Venue Co’s $1.65 million upgrade of the Cleveland Sands Hotel, in Redlands, will include a new 200-capacity entertainment space to host touring acts.

Two men were found guilty of murder over a shooting that killed two men – a security guard and a patron – outside Melbourne’s Love Machine nightclub and sentenced in August.

In the meantime another guard was denied compo by WorkCover because he was not covered by a valid employment contract as he received cash-in-hand payments.

Elixir Music Bar will become Cairns’ first alcohol free bar to encourage patrons to focus on its live music and arts shows.

Head here for more information on the Elixir Music Bar.